Young Men in the Street: Help-Seeking Behavior of Young Male Prostitutes

Young Men in the Street: Help-Seeking Behavior of Young Male Prostitutes

Young Men in the Street: Help-Seeking Behavior of Young Male Prostitutes

Young Men in the Street: Help-Seeking Behavior of Young Male Prostitutes

Synopsis

This book analyzes the help-seeking behaviors of young urban street males who engage in prostitution. Use of formal resources consist of social agencies, professionals, and informal resources such as friends, family, and peers is described. The work also addresses one of the most pressing issues of our time: the AIDS crisis and its impact on young male prostitutes. Snell makes an important contribution to understanding this stigmatized and under-served population. This is the first book to study young male prostitutes' help-seeking behavior. Findings indicate that the majority receive high levels of emotional support from family and friends, while traditional social and mental health services are not effectively reaching street males.

Excerpt

The population of young street males includes those who are runaways as well as young males over 18 years of age who may not fit a formal definition of runaway but center their lives on street activities. Those who are runaways may or may not have contact with a formal shelter. Runaways constitute the largest proportion of young street males and have received more attention than non-runaway young street males (Weisberg 1985; Ritter 1987).

The problem of runaway youth is of epidemic proportions in American society; about two million children and young adults ran away from home in the course of a year as of 1977 (Mishkin 1983; Leepson 1983; Dotson 1982). However, national attention to their problems is relatively new and minimal.

More than half of reported runaways are male, contradicting the long-held belief that more females than males run away from home (Committee on the Judiciary 1983). The misconception was apparently due to the fact that females are more likely to come to the attention of police and more likely to apply for help somewhere. Males are thus less visible than females and tend to be part of the street culture; that is, they hang out on street corners, in parks, and at fast-food restaurants. In spite of the significant number of males, they are often ignored by researchers and helping professions (Weisberg 1985; Leepson 1983).

A large number of both males and females are defined as . . .

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